Thursday, March 19, 2015

Flagler Art and Wine Shuttle


ART GALLERY TEAM IMPROVES
POPULAR ATTRACTION ON A1A

FLAGLER BEACH, FL – The Flagler Art & Wine Shuttle debuted a year ago along the stretch of State Road A1A in Flagler County that connects The Hammock community of Palm Coast with the City of Flagler Beach. The brainchild of entrepreneur Frank Gromling to enhance business for brick and mortar art galleries by getting people to visit the galleries they often drove past on State Road A1A, the Shuttle attracted several hundred people to ride 18-passenger vans making stops at art galleries along the coastal road. By all accounts, it was a popular event for residents, visitors, and gallery owners. Exactly what Gromling had envisioned.

When the second Shuttle was presented in December 2014, new management tried to expand it beyond Gromling’s original concept of simply being a way to enhance the art galleries by getting people in The Hammock and Flagler Beach to visit the galleries they often zipped past. The December event had some issues that Gromling said changed the excitement of the Shuttle.

He said it suffered from too many stops, inclusion of non-gallery locations, expansion to a second day of activity that wasn’t well-connected, and a variance from the established routes. As a result, riders did not have time to visit all the venues, sometimes had to wait for vans, and ended up not as pleased with the event.

On April 12, 2015 a re-worked Flagler Art & Wine Shuttle will roll out with a revised plan created by the management team of gallery owners who re-dedicated themselves to a comfortable Shuttle taking people to just eight attractive venues. Major fixes include an improved Shuttle route with fewer stops, different volunteers providing assistance on the vans, training for the volunteers, called “Shuttle Guides,” orientation for the van drivers, and all net proceeds from the event going to the Rotary Club of Flagler Beach, the designated charity.

The Shuttle Team includes The Baliker Gallery, I Am Art/Rachel & Friends, Hammock Wine & Cheese Shoppe, Art LaMay Studio, Flagler Beachfront Winery, Ocean Art Gallery, Gallery of Local Art, and Down by the Sea Boutique & Gallery. The team meets every week to decide strategy, plan activities, and prepare materials.

Gromling said that this third Shuttle will run more smoothly because everyone involved is committed to making it a major success. “We have made certain that there are only a few stops, the “Guides” are Rotary members who will not deviate from established rules, the drivers know not to alter the route at riders’ requests, and the gallery owners are planning enjoyable receptions for the Shuttle riders,” added Gromling.

Shuttle tickets, just $10 per person or two for $15, may be purchased online at Eventbrite.com. For those not Internet connected, tickets may be purchased at either of two parking/pickup locations, the Flagler Beach Library or the Adult Education Center in The Hammock on the day of the event. For additional information, call 386-693-4882

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